Friday, March 06, 2009

A TRIBUTE TO FORREST J. ACKERMAN



Those of you in Los Angeles this weekend might be interested to know, if you don’t already, about the Forrest J.Ackerman Tribute being held at the Egyptian Theater this coming Sunday, March 8. The memory of Mr. Ackerman, such an influential force for so many not only in the world of science fiction and horror films but the film industry in general, will be celebrated by those who knew him as well as those fans who spent their days growing up within the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland and dreamed of one day coming out to Horrorwood, Karloffornia to visit the man himself within the hallowed walls of the Ackermansion. According to the Cinematheque, there will be testimonials, slide presentations, performances and even a few items to few from the extensive Ackerman collection, such as Bela Lugosi’s costumes from Dracula (1931) and the robot from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Some of the guests scheduled to be present include Ray Bradbury, James Warren (publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland) and director John Landis, though I’m sure that will be just the tip of the iceberg on Sunday afternoon. The tribute proper begins at 4:00 p.m., however there will be a reception at the Egyptian Theater that is open to the public which begins at 3:00 p.m. There will be no charge to attend either the tribute or the reception.

Then stick around for a double feature in the Forry spirit—at 7:00 p.m. the Cinematheque will screen the documentary Famous Monster: Forrest J. Ackerman (2007; 48m.) by filmmakers Michael MacDonald and Ian Johnston, who will be in attendance for a Q-and-A in between films. The second feature is Ib Meclhior’s The Time Travelers (1964; 82 m.), a clever sci-fi thriller starring Philip Carey and Preston Foster which features 4SJ in a cameo appearance.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share memories of this kind, gentle and influential man in the presence of those who loved and admired him most. If you’re here in Los Angeles this weekend, I hope to see you there.

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Thinking about Forrest J. Ackerman has me somewhat nostalgic on this Friday afternoon thinking about how I would rummage through the newspaper as a child and look at all the ads for great triple and quadruple-feature horror programs that seemed to always be playing in Portland and Los Angeles and other places too far for me to travel. It was in these pages that I saw splashy, gratuitous ads for movies that were, most of the time, far better left to my fertile imagination, where they would undoubtedly remain far better and scarier than if I were to have seen the movies themselves. Here’s a few ads I found this morning that made me remember what dreaming about going to the movies was like for me as a kid. I’m glad to think of them as I think about Forry and the dreams he also inspired, and sometimes even made come true.




3 comments:

Ali Arikan said...

Wow. This made me tear up, Dennis. It's funny, because most of us got into film through infatuation with some part of genre films, I think.

And, you know, it was always sad to say goodbye to an uncle.

Larry Aydlette said...

Funny about those ads. Several times a year, I have this weird dream where old pages of newspaper movie ads float across my brainpan and somehow (because it's a dream) I'm driving to these theaters and getting ready to see them. Then, I wake up to my dull multiplex reality.

blaaagh said...

Sometimes I really do wish I still lived in L.A., and find myself imagining an alternate life in which I lived there again. Fortunately, this is only occasional--like now, when I think about being able to go to something like this! Nice article, Dennis--and wonderful ads. I particularly like "he used a camera like most men use a woman!" Wow...to each his own, I guess.